When out and about during any given day, I am in different environments. Once in a while, I see individual shopping and/or driving, and I cannot forget some of those situations without remembering my mother, and the visual humor I connect to those tasks she did all of her life.
For starters, I thought my mother was an organized person. She worked as a RN at the Robert Packer Hospital/Guthrie Clinic in Sayre, Pennsylvania for 40 years. She and Dad raised five children, and she always seemed to be there when needed. I do not remember everything regarding these shopping tasks when I was young but when I returned in 2000 to help out, I got to see more since I was home in a caregiver mode.
When we were kids, Mom and Dad would sit in their specific chairs in the living room. They both would mention what was needed and Mom made the shopping lists for the weekly trips to all the local stores. What I learned, the hard way, was that for each different store, the order of the list determined the time at each location.
For some reason, while shopping, my Mother went into the store, got her cart and went to the location of the first item on the list. Then, she would do to the location of the second item on the list. This process would go on until the list was completed. If you were there when this process was ongoing, you would understand why some stores offer “Senior Citizen Deals” early in the week to keep this type of chaos away from all the other customers that shop on the weekends.
If milk was the first item on the list, we would do to the Dairy section. Now, farther down the list may be butter, or eggs, but we would go the location of the true second item and that may be napkins. So, off we go to get the napkins, then go for the third item, and on, and on we go. We got lots of mileage with this method and even though I tried to help organize lists for future trips, I lost that battle.
For me, having worked behind the scenes in Retail for over 25 years, my method is to get in, shop and get out in the least amount of time. I am not a typical impulse shopper.
Now, for a second round of humor.
One afternoon while my Mother was still able to drive, she returned home but there was major damage to the driver’s side of the car. When I asked her what happened, this was her explanation.
Before going shopping, she had stopped at the Drive Up Window at the bank to cash a check. When she pulled up to the Teller Window, she said that there were these “yellow poles” right next to the window that were too close to the car. She did not know why the yellow poles were there, and basically said it was the bank’s fault that the side of the car was damaged. The positive side to the story is that the actual teller was saved from being hit and Mom did not drive again.